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Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion
Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion

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Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion

Introduction

Since early 2020, the higher education (HE) sector has had to react to unprecedented change and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The so-called ‘pivot to online’ (Salmon, 2020) forced emergency ways of working on university campus-based staff in an attempt to continue educating students while physical attendance at lectures, seminars, etc. was not permitted. As COVID-19 becomes endemic, many higher education institutions (HEIs) are taking the opportunity to reflect on how these emergency practices and policies could or should evolve into a planned and proactive approach to working in a hybrid environment. This process of reflection includes a greater focus on the wellbeing and inclusion of staff and students, which considers:

  • the impact – positive and negative – of digital practices adopted as a result of forced home working
  • employee expectations around office-based working
  • assumptions about how university campus facilities and systems are managed and used.

Why is wellbeing and inclusion so important in a higher-education context? Barbara Bassa, a Programme Director at Advance HE, explains:

There is no argument about the fact that the quality of student experience at university starts with the quality of the services provided by the university staff: academics and professional support staff. In order for all staff to provide these quality experiences, they need to feel well and supported themselves. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

(Bassa, 2022)

This free course is part of the Supporting hybrid working and digital transformation collection [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .